$100,000-plus loss on fake Ford Falcon GTHO

By: Spencer Leech, Unique Cars magazine

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Ropey tribute car ends up in court after being undetected for decades. Buyer and seller both 'innocent victims', according to judge.

$100,000-plus loss on fake Ford Falcon GTHO
GTHOs are hugely valuable, if they're the real thing.

The Border Mail newspaper (on the Vic/NSW border) reports would-be classic owner Lyle Walker was left $110,000 out of pocket when he found that his 1970 XW GTHO was a fake. Walker purchased the car from Wodonga man Glen Sell, who after 30 years of ownership, had no idea that his Falcon was not the real deal.

The car came with a letter from Ford that matched with the vehicles VIN number, supposedly authenticating its identity.

One month after the car was listed on Gumtree in August 2013, Lyle Walker travelled to its home in Wodonga to inspect the vehicle. After looking it over for 30 minutes, convinced of the document’s legitimacy, Walker bought the car for $135,000.

After 12 months of making payments, he finally took possession of the vehicle, with plans to get it professionally inspected and restored. When he took it to be inspected, it was found to be just a base model XW Falcon. Lyle Walker then requested that Glen Sell refund him, but he declined.

Walker took legal action in an attempt to recoup his losses but was unsuccessful.

"It apparently was not in doubt that both parties were innocent victims of a fraud perpetrated by someone on Mr Sell when he bought the car some 30 years ago from a Mr Paul Ward," said federal court judge Robert Bromwhich.

"It is not possible to say who was responsible for that fraud."

Look for our guide on how to pick a real GT from a fake, published tomorrow.

In the meantime, see our market advice stories:

What's an XR-XT-XW-XY Falcon worth?

1966-68 Ford Falcon XR: Buyers' Guide

Ford XW/XY Fairmont: Buyers' Guide

Ford Falcon XW GT - Buyers Guide

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